Vegetation indices derived from reflectance data are related to canopy variables such as aboveground biomass, leaf area index (LAI), and the fraction of intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (fIPAR). However, under N stress the relationships between vegetation indices (VI) and these canopy variables might be confounded due to plant chlorosis. We studied the relationships between reflectance-based VI and canopy variables (aboveground biomass, LAI canopy chlorophyll A content [LAI x Chl A], and fIPAR) for a wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crop growing under different N supplies. Nitrogen fertilization promoted significant increases in radiation interception (plant growth) and, to a lesser extent, in radiation use efficiency (RUE). The VI vs. LAI relationships varied significantly among treatments, rendering the VI-based equations unreliable to estimate LAI under contrasting N conditions. However, a single relationship emerged when LAI x Chl A was considered. Moreover, VI were robust indicators of fIPAR by green canopy components independently of N treatment and phenology. Aboveground biomass was poorly correlated with grain yield, whereas cumulative VI simple ratio (SR) was a good predictor of grain yield, probably because cumulative SR closely tracked the duration and intensity of the canopy photosynthetic capacity.
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2000|